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buffalo north/ Mingo'd say. Days, and we'd see a old bull,
maybe, and a couple of cows. And bones layen white on the
ground, fer as a man's sight, white lak a salt flat, The
wagon wheel went over 'em, cracken. We come to Dodge
City. They was bones piled and ricked up thar, a sight of
bones. Them nesters and 'steaders done picked up and brung
'em in to sell 'em. They was buyen 'em back east to make
fertilizer to put on the wore-out ground. Bones ricked up
thar along the Santa Fe, a-waiten, you ne'er seen sich. They
was fellers in Dodge City, but not lak a-fore. Fellers was
setten round didn't have a dime, what had been throwen
round the green lak a senator. Bones and broke buffalo
hunters thar, them days. We was in Dodge City, and Mingo
ne'er outer spitten-range of a bottle. ' Buffalo gone,' he said,
' durn, and hit'll be whisky next, and no country fer a white
man.' But they shore-God wasn't no drout in sight yit. Not
with Mingo.

" We was in Dodge City, and word come the Santa Fe Line
was payen out good money fer men to fight the Denver and
Rio Grande fer putten the track through where the Arkansas
comes outer the mountains, out in Colorado. Mingo come
and said to git ready, we was goen. But I said, naw, I wasn't
gonna be a-shooten and killen no human man, not fer no
railroad, no way. 'Me,' Mingo said, 'I kilt plenty fer the
gov'mint goen on four years, and kill a man fer the gov'mint,
I shore-God oughter be willen to kill me one fer anybody else.
Even a railroad.' But naw, I said. But Mingo went on and
done hit, and me waiten in Dodge City. Then he come on
back, and money he had. ' Hit'll be Santa Fe Line,' he said,
' and Irish fer cross-ties,'

"Then Mingo said: 'Yellowstone, up Yellowstone and
they's buffalo lak a-fore. Hit's the word. Git ready/ But I
ne'er said nuthen. ' What you setten thar fer?' he said. ' Git
ready/ Then I said I wasn't aimen to go. ' What you aimen
to do?' Mingo said. I said I couldn't rightly name hit, but
hit would come to me. I said I might take me out some
ground, have-en a little money left to git me gear and a start.